Judy had always wanted to experience life on a ranch, whereas I was less than enthusiastic. However, I can honestly say that my stay at Chilcotin Holidays was one of the most memorable experience I ever had. We arrived on the Thursday and had booked to stay until Sunday. It is a reflection of just how much we enjoyed our stay that we stayed an en extra day and would have gladly stayed an extra week had not we already committed ourselves to other activities. Kevan welcomed us and introduced us to George who was to be our guide. After a short settling in period we were given our mounts. Judy, being the more experienced rider, was given Katy. I, not knowing one end of a horse from another, was given Dylan who is as slow as a boat.
Judy climbed on board without too much trouble, but I think George could see that I was a coward and told me I would have to “Cowboy Up!” if I was to ride with his outfit. Judy echoed his sentiments; I hated them both. We set off on our first trip and I think even Judy was a little surprised when George took a sharp left and we saw what lay ahead of us. The hill must have been a 1 in 3(steep for those who don’t know), but in her usual annoying manner, Judy followed him down. I was scared again and refused to move. “Cowboy up” they shouted. I can’t write my reply. Eventually I did manage to move and got down safely thanks only to Dylan.
The next few days were a real experience and any thoughts of skiing, which was our original reason for visiting Canada, were put out of our minds. We saw some wonderful things in the wilderness, not least a wolverine, which I believed to be a cute little furry animal. George told me it could rip my head off. I was scared again, but was told to “Cowboy Up”! George must have been glad to see the back of us, particularly due to Judy”s insatiable appetite for night rides, which meant George had probably put in 20 hours a day during our visit.
But the finest moment of my stay came on our very last outing,. When Judy had decided to go bare back. By this time I had learned to canter and considered myself to be the man from Snowy River. Judy was naturally a little unsure of herself as far as bareback riding went, and when George decided it was time for a final canter, her enthusiasm matched mine of the first day. “Don’t you dare canter” she said. “Oh, Cowboy Up” I said. Revenge is sweet.
David and Judy, Scotland.